Everton fought back in today’s Merseyside Derby after going 2-0 down in the first 20 minutes.
As expected, it was a very feisty affair at Goodison Park and the referee, Andre Marriner, was a very busy man after dishing out seven yellow cards.
Liverpool hit the ground running and scored the first goal of the game in the 14th minute after a Luis Suarez shot was deflected into his own net by Leighton Baines. The original shot was firing wide, but the unfortunate defender could do nothing about the deflection. Following Luis Suarez, controversy is never far away and his celebration was quite controversial to say the least. Before the game, Everton manager, David Moyes, said players like Suarez were ruining the game because of diving and foul-play. So after, the Uruguyan saw the ball hit the back of the net, he ran towards the dugouts and jumped in the air and fell to the ground right in front of the Everton boss.
The celebration sparked a massive responce from the home fans and also David Moyes got out of his seat and rushed to the touchline to give the Liverpool striker a piece of his mind. It is fair to say, the Scotsman was not pleased.
His mood didn’t improve six minutes later after it was that man again (Luis Suarez) who made it 2-0 to Liverpool, after he flicked on a Steven Gerrard free-kick. A lovely run and glancing header from the striker easily beat goalkeeper, Tim Howard.
Liverpool’s two-goal lead only lasted two minutes as Leon Osman smashed home from just outside of the box. A Leighton Baines corner was flapped at by Liverpool keeper, Brad Jones, and he couldn’t recover from that as he saw Leon Osman’s fierce shot fizz past his right hand and into the bottom corner. The goal sudddenly sparked life into Goodison Park and also the Everton team and they were on their way back into the game.
After a questionable throw-in decision went in the way of Everton, they certainly made the most of it. A quick throw was taken and Marouane Fellaini spurted into the box and then produced a lovely low cross into the box which gave Steven Naismith the easiest of opportunities which he didn’t turn up. A lovely worked goal by the Toffees and it was game on as far as they were concerned.
The second half was much quieter than the first half and clear cut chances were very limited. More yellow cards were being dished out as tempers started to rise as you would expect in a Merseyside Derby, but apart from yellow cards, nothing else was really happening up until stoppage time.
After Liverpool were rewarded a free-kick just inside the Everton half, Luis Suarez, saw his goal chalked off after the linesman had ruled him offside. However, replays show that when Coates knocked the ball down to Suarez, he was clearly onside and the goal should have stood. In the 92nd minute, there was a lot of relief around the stadium as the majority of the fans thought they had seen Suarez haunt them again, but once they realised the flag was up, silence turned into cheers.
Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, didn’t actually realise the flag was up and sprinted the length of the field to celebrate in front of the travelling fans, but he was made to realise that the goal had been chalked off much to his disbelief.
After the game, Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, praised his side despite throwing away a 2-0 lead:
“I thought the character and temperment was exceptional. 2-0 can be a difficult scoreline, expecially here when they play long balls into the box, but it was another day of progress for us.
“The goal at the end was clearly a goal and we are disappointed not to get it. I think the linesman gave it but everyone in the ground thought it was a goal. That should have been a goal and an outstanding hat-trick for Luis Suarez.”
David Moyes also had plenty of praise for his side after the comeback:
“It was a good game, really exciting, a disappointing start but our boys showed great character to come back and I thought we were a bit unfortunate to not to go in 3-2 up at half-time. It was a really good game, end to end, and either team could have won it”.
He also had something to say about Suarez’s celebration:
“I thought it was great, I would probably have done the same, but he is going to have to dive in front of a lot of managers now. He was a very lucky man to stay on the park because of his tackle”.
Alex William Batt